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My migration from OSX to Linux

I’ve been moving back and forth between OS X and Linux for the last 5 years or so, mostly due to performance reasons. Currently I’m moving away from OS X and back to Linux, hopefully for the last time. My main reason for this is to gain more control over what my computer does and what data it sends out. I no longer feel like I’m in control of my machine when I use OSX or Windows. However, I do still find OSX applications better from a productivity stand point. My main goal right now is to find good enough alternatives to the software I normally used in OSX. I’ll be making posts over the coming months on most of these programs and why I feel they’re useful to have.

Linux Alternatives for OSX Programs

OSX Program Linux Alternative(s) Reasons for Choosing Alternative
1password lastpass and keepassx I’m using two because lastpass has a good browser plugin so it’s useful for website information. Keepassx is more useful to keep other passwords, such as ssh account passwords.
Acorn GIMP Acorn is an image manipulation program. GIMP is the best Linux image manipulation program that I am aware of.
Adium Pidgin Pidgin isn’t as pretty as adium, but it works the same.
Hazel Custom Script Hazel can run scripts and move files on a regular basis based on filename. This should be able to be accomplished with shell scripts and a cron jobs.
iTunes Audacious I was a big fan of XMMS and Winamp, so I prefer something simple like Audacious over more of a music library manage like amarok.
Launchbar built-in awesome functions or Synapse The awesome windows manager has built in functionality for doing launches. Again, it’s not as nice as launchbar, but it works. Synapse also looks like an interesting alternative and I will be looking in the future to see how well that works in awesome.
NetNewsWire LifeRea LifeRea has a similar layout to NetNewsWire. One drawback is that LifeRea stores the google account password in cleartext. I’m accepting this risk by creating a separate google account that is only used for news feeds.
Notational Velocity ZIM or KeepNote Notational Velocity is a great note taking application that doesn’t require any explicit save option. I’m currently looking into ZIM and KeepNote as a replacement. I’ll be posting a blog post on this soon.
OmniFocus todotxt OmniFocus is hands down the best todo list program I’ve ever used. I haven’t found anything comparable for it in Linux. Instead I’m going back to the basics and using todotxt, which is a bash script that helps manage a text file todo list.
OmniOutliner vim A good outliner program that gets out of the way is hard to find. I haven’t found anything comparable in either Windows or Linux. Instead I’m using vim with some options to make it easier to deal with outlines.
OmniGraffle dia dia is the best diagram program that I’ve found for Linux.
Parallels VirtualBox VirtualBox lacks some of the features of parallels, such as encrypting VMs. However, it has other features that I use, such as VDE and IOMMU/VT-d support.
TextExpander AutoKey AutoKey is a python script that monitors the keyboard and will do a replacement of text when it sees a specific string. You can also have it run a python script and replace a string with the output of that script. I’m currently unsure of the security implications of using this program.
Time Machine deja-dup Deja-Dup is a GUI frontend for duplicity. I’m still in the process of determing if its better to backup to a portable drive or a file server.
Textual weechat I use weechat over irssi since I have an awesome plugin to monitor notifications in it.

Programs That I Haven’t Found Alternatives For

BusyCal - Calendar application.
Coderunner - Simple GUI text editor with color coding syntax.
Day One - Journaling Program
Fantastical - Enter calendar entries via text
Keyboard Maestro - Allows you to run macros via keyboard shortcuts.
Patterns - Used to test regexp strings.
Scrivener - Writing program designed for 10+ page documents. Unison - Usenet reader

Reader Comments (6)

For some items on your remaining list you could consider:

BusyCal -> Lightning (Thunderbird extention)
Coderunner -> Gedit (is exactly this: Simple GUI text editor with color coding syntax).
Day One -> RedNotebook (Journaling Program)

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFvD

Any updates on the switch? Have you set Linux as primary OS for your work?

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererrorflag

Yup, I'm using Linux at work. It's not as fancy a setup since I don't have an i7. I'm hoping to get more time over the weekend to post more. Is there anything specific you're interested in?

April 24, 2012 | Registered Commentersoleblaze

I'm the same boat as you are. The ipadification of OSX made me switched back to Linux. Hurray for Linux!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererrorflag

Try Coderunner -> Sublime Text 2

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

About Liferea storing passwords in plain text: starting with the 1.9 release line passwords are now kept in GnomeKeyring so they should be safe.

January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLars Windolf
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